News Flash: What Everyone Thinks About You…

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….Doesn’t matter in real life.

Our friend here doesn’t seem to care. But should he (or she)?

I think we’ve all heard this said; that we never need to be concerned about what other people think and to never let our concern for other’s opinions keep us from taking chances or being ourselves.

For the purpose of deciding who we are, I agree completely.

But I don’t think that this statement is true 100% of the time and to live in total disregard of what other’s think is not only selfish, but can be disastrous to becoming successful. It does matter that we are true to ourselves and that we  always try to be who we really are, but it also matters how we chose to pass on that information to those around us.

In one aspect of interpretation, I believe that we cannot live our life in a constant attempt to be the person we think everyone around us is hoping for us to be. We cannot live in fear of how other people judge our actions, our appearance, or our outlook on life.

To do so will stifle our ability to really live our life as our true self.

As an interesting factoid, care to venture a guess at how much time the average person spends thinking about other people around them and not whatever is going on in their life at any given moment?

Typically 30 seconds or less. And that’s only if someone is doing something to distract them. 30 seconds…and then they move on. If we want more than 30 seconds, we have to be pretty spectacular at creating a diversion…or be famous.

Making a spectacle of ourselves by wearing a brightly colored hat or dancing in the rain isn’t enough to get more than 30 seconds from someone passing by in most cases.  Even if they do stand in judgment or laugh in ridicule, in 30 seconds or less and they’ve moved on to bigger and better self-absorbed activities.

Most of the times so have we, we just may not realize it. We may be wondering about how our actions made us appear, what others are thinking about us, and how we’re going to handle it; we’re thinking about ourselves again. Huh.

But there is a time when we need to worry about what other people are thinking.  When it matters about how our first impression is perceived.  According to Harvard Business Review we have 5-7 seconds of evaluation and we’ve already determined the basics of how we feel about someone and they’ve determined how they feel about us.  In meetings with people that can impact our future, we’re judged quickly. We need to always appreciate this when interacting with others.

It doesn’t mean that anything we say or do after that time is inconsequential, but actions following this first impression will likely reinforce the initial perceptions.

Understanding this important distinction is how common sense and business acumen come together to help us always prepare for success in our professinal life and allow us the ability to also successfully be ourselves. They do not need to be mutually exclusive but how we play the game will determine the outcome.

So don’t let yourself be misunderstood as a toad if you’re really a prince…or vice versa.

About Bradford Chase

All who wander are not lost; but some of us like to get lost by design. It helps us to find ourselves a little at a time. I like adventure and to wander off whenever possible, always with camera in hand. I typically must be stirred by something in the viewfinder in order to snap the waiting picture, and always build a story on what I see. I share them here. Please feel free to share as well.

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